President William Ruto has called for concerted efforts in environmental protection to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The President appealed to Kenyans to support the government’s tree-planting exercise to increase the country’s tree cover.
He urged Kenyans to cease encroachment on the nation’s wetlands and forests, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding water catchment areas.
This, he explained, will ensure the country has better climatic conditions, a better environment, regular and adequate rains to support agriculture.
“If there is a programme that will make a meaningful impact in the attainment of our food security goals and address the cost of living, it is environmental protection,” he said.
The President made the remarks on Monday during the National Tree Growing Day at Kiu Wetland in Makindu, Makueni County.
During the event, 150,000 seedlings were planted as part of a national campaign aimed at utilising the short rains to grow 100 million seedlings across the country.
The President said the government will gazette and protect from encroachment all wetlands in Makueni County.
The Head of State noted that the government will step up efforts geared towards protecting and rehabilitating over 10,000 wetlands in the country.
“We will continue to protect our environment and ensure we leave behind a nation that the future generation will be proud of,” he said.
The President also inspected Kwa Venge Springs, Makindu intake, which has faced a significant reduction in water production over the years as a result of climate change, leading to a water deficit in Makindu and its environs.
“Climate change is a reality we can no longer wish away,” he noted.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua asked Kenyans to nurture the trees they grow.
The only way to mitigate effects of climate change, he added, was to plant trees and protect forests and water sources.
First Lady Rachel Ruto called on Kenyans to not only grow trees but also nurture them to maturity.
Present were Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, his spouse Pastor Dorcas, Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya, Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior, and Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku among other leaders.